Interrogation—Elaine Ash

Who: Elaine Ash

What: She edits career authors as well as emerging talent. BESTSELLER METRICS is her first how-to book. It’s also a patent-pending software in development for the publishing industry.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

As a fiction writer, you have published short stories, novelettes and novels. What was the inspiration to write BESTSELLER METRICS?

The inspiration came from editing novels for many years. I saw the same problems affecting novelists who were working incredibly hard to get published. Ten years ago I thought Oh, I’ll come across a book that talks about those issues one of these days. But no matter how hard I searched, that book never came along. A year or so ago I realized that if I didn’t do it myself, it wasn’t going to get done. So I got busy.

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Recommended Reading 2015

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It’s that time of the year. I’ve made a list, checked it a couple dozen times, and now I’m posting it here.

This is not a “Best Of” list in the traditional sense. More of a “Man, I read some great books that got published this year!” list. The titles and authors are in no particular order, and there are probably a few I forgot.

If you haven’t already read these books, you should. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all great excuses to support your favorite booksellers. As if you need another excuse to buy books. (UPDATE: I’ve gotten some great suggestions for this list on other platforms. If you want to mention a book I didn’t, please leave it in the comments below Because: Conversation! —Thanks!).

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Novels

  • CANARY by Duane Swierczynski
  • CONTENDERS by Erika Krouse
  • STRANGE SHORES by Arnaldur Indridason
  • HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY KIDNAP STRANGERS by Max Booth III
  • THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
  • RUMRUNNERS by Eric Beetner
  • UNCLE DUST by Rob Pierce
  • THE MAGICIAN’S LAND by Lev Grossman
  • A NEGRO AND AN OFAY by Danny Gardner
  • WORM by Anthony Neil Smith
  • WAYS TO DIE IN GLASGOW by Jay Stringer
  • GO DOWN HARD by Craig Faustus Buck
  • VORTEX by Paul D. Marks
  • NEW YORKED by Rob Hart
  • YOUNG AMERICANS by Josh Stallings

Bull Hashtag Cartel Zero Saints

Currently Reading

  • THE MAN IN THE WINDOW by Dana King
  • THE CARTEL by Don Winslow

Still On The TBR List

  • KILL ME QUICK by Paul D. Brazill
  • HASHTAG by Eryk Pruitt
  • ZERO SAINTS by Gabino Iglesias
  • BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich
  • THE SUBTLE ART OF BRUTALITY by Ryan Sayles

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Novellas & Anthologies

  • THE FURY OF BLACKY JAGUAR by Angel Luis Colon
  • DREAMING DEEP by Anonymous-9
  • THE DEEPENING SHADE by Jake Hinkson
  • REDBONE by Matt Phillips
  • DEAD HEAT WITH THE REAPER by William E. Wallace
  • KNUCKLEBALL by Tom Pitts
  • SAFE INSIDE THE VIOLENCE by Chris Irvin

December Boys City Of Rose Hard-Boiled Heart FLOODGATE

Looking Forward To 2016

  • CLEANING UP FINN by Sarah M. Chen
  • GRAVEYARD LOVE by Scott Adlerberg
  • CITY OF ROSE by Rob Hart
  • DECEMBER BOYS by Joe Clifford
  • ROUGH TRADE by Todd Robinson
  • HARD-BOILED HEART by Will Viharo
  • FLOODGATE by Johnny Shaw

S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available now from Rare Bird Books. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Bouchercon, Blogs, Burbank, Bay Area

Motley Crew

It’s been a busy week. Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina was incredible. Great to hang out with friends, pick up some killer new books, learn a ton and otherwise lounge around bars and restaurants for four days with interesting people. The Noir at the Bar event that Eryk Pruitt organized was definitely a highlight. I was thrilled to read alongside Johnny Shaw, Les Edgerton, Jedidiah Ayres, Christa Faust, Ed Kurtz, Jen Conley, Thomas Pluck, Tom Pitts and Joe Clifford. I also got to sit in for a taping of Authors on the Air with Pam Stack and Tom Pitts who invited a room full of reprobates ranging from Brian Panowich, Nik Korpon and Warren Moore to Danny Gardner, Chris Irvin and Jack Getze. Shot some video of Jay Stringer and Angel Colon, too—we’ll see how that turns out.

The photo up top of me with Pam Stack, Tom Pitts and Joe Clifford is one of my favorites. It was shot by Absolutely*Kate. This one of me reading at Noir at the Bar in Raleigh was shot by the amazing Michelle Turlock Isler.

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Crime/Mystery Writers Create Spotify Playlist

R&R Spotify Playlist

Having a BBQ this Labor Day weekend? Looking for a gloomy playlist of dark and murderous rock songs to encourage more drinking at your pool party? We have just the Spotify playlist for you—“Rock & Roll’s Not A Crime”!

I have collected song suggestions from some of my favorite West Coast crime/mystery writers including Eric Beetner, Anonymous-9, Craig Faustus Buck and Josh Stallings. This playlist was created in anticipation of our upcoming event, “Rock & Roll’s Not A Crime,” at the Buena Vista Library Branch in Burbank CA on Oct. 14—but you can enjoy the darkness right now on Spotify (you can listen if you sign up for a free account).

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Less Is More

Noir SlamTomorrow night I join 18 fellow writers at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles for Noir Slam— “a fierce, fast-paced trip to the edge of modern noir.” Just look at that list of readers! We each get one minute—60 precious seconds—to tell a complete story. It’s an interesting challenge.

I tried looking through my novel and my novella for 150 words that would work, but everything seemed like it would take a minute or more just to set up. So, I decided to write something specifically for the event. As with most things in life that are challenging, I turned to Ozzy Osbourne for inspiration.

See you tomorrow night in downtown LA!

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Noir Slam—Weds., Sept. 2—Downtown LA

Noir SlamI am very excited to be part of NOIR SLAM, 20 mystery/crime authors taking you on a fierce, fast-paced trip to the edge of modern noir—60 seconds at a time. The event takes place starting at 7pm Wednesday, Sept. 2 in downtown Los Angeles at The Last Bookstore. I was there for an Erika Krouse reading just last night and the place is amazing.

Just imagine how cool all of your friends will think you are when you click this Facebook link and tell them you’re “going” to Noir Slam!

Not convinced? Well, here’s a list of the amazing authors included on the bill: Christa Faust, Brett Battles, Anonymous-9, Danny Gardner, James Queally, Maxine Nunes, Eric Beetner, Samuel Gailey, Craig Faustus Buck, Stephen Blackmoore, Ashley Erwin, John Shepphird, Aaron Philip Clark, Travis Richardson, Paul D. Marks, Josh Stallings, Hannah Sward, and your’s truly.

If you aren’t familiar with some of these scribblers, I have been lucky enough to interview several of them on this blog over the last year. Here are a few of my favorite quotes, along with links to the original interviews. Of course, there is no better way to get to know an author than by reading one of their books…just saying.


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Read the Josh Stallings interview HERE.

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Read the Anonymous-9 interview HERE.

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Read the Eric Beetner interview HERE.

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Read the Travis Richardson interview HERE.

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Read the Paul D. Marks interview HERE.

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Happy #IndiePrideDay

I have had the chance to interview some incredible Indie mystery and crime authors on my blog over the last few months. In celebration of #IndiePrideDay, here’s a few quotes from some of my favorite Indie authors.

Enjoy!

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Laurie Stevens self-published the Gabriel McRay series.

“The technology is out there to publish, distribute, and promote like never before.”

Read the interview HERE.

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Johnny Angel Wendell self-published his debut novel LOOKING FOR LADY DEE in 2015. Read the interview HERE.

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Anonymous-9 has worked with several Indie publishers, but self-published the novella CRASHING THROUGH MIRRORS in 2015. Read the interview HERE.

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Josh Stallings self-published the acclaimed Moses McGuire series.

“New Years Eve 2010 my big sister encouraged me to explore self publishing. I did it as an experiment. A chance to try and build the elusive ‘platform’ everyone said a writer needed. I didn‘t anticipate the way the crime community took to my battered bouncer.

Read the interview HERE.

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Interrogation: Anonymous-9

A-9Cactus 2Who: Anonymous-9

What: Anonymous-9’s work has won awards from The House of Crime and Mystery, Spinetingler Magazine, and has been publisher-nominated for Thriller and Derringer Awards. Her hardboiled short story TRIANGULATION appeared in the debut issue of THE BIG CLICK alongside Tom Piccirilli and Ken Bruen. She has book deals with Blasted Heath (Scotland), New Pulp Press, Down & Out Books, and Uncanny Books. Anonymous-9 is the pen name of book editor Elaine Ash, who has no affiliation with the “Anonymous” group. Elaine’s latest book project is the untold story of legendary playwright Tennessee Williams and Mia Phoebus (now 93 years old), who shared a house the summer of 1940. The work of Elaine Ash and Anonymous-9 is almost schizophrenically different.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Your novel, HARD BITE, was recommended to me by several different writers and I was blown away when I read it. How did you come up with such an original concept?

I’d like to thank those writers. Who were they? It was by design. Competition in crime writing is fierce. Yet there’s a lot of pressure to conform to genre, to hit certain marks. I wanted to set fire to the curtains and blow the place up. Only stylistically, though. I strictly adhere to three-act HardBitestructure, and pay a lot of attention to pace. To get read you have to write something enjoyable that readers can relate to. Or at least vicariously thrill to, even if they can’t relate. Benoit Lelievre over at Dead End Follies in Montreal, Canada did an excellent job of examining the core elements of BITE HARDER in this light. T. Jefferson Parker said (among other things), “…from the opening line on, [HARD BITE] challenges and confronts, attacks and confounds.” That says it right there. Anonymous-9 doesn’t write “safe.”

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